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Twins' Bullpen: Don't trust (most) Anyone Over 30


stringer bell

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Twins fans can take a breath and be very satisfied with where the squad is in the standings and how well they have played in the last 10 games. A 9-1 record in the last 10 games tends to relieve our anxieties. However, I think it is human nature to find something to worry about. Befitting the Twins 13-9 (good, not great) record, there are things to worry about--Miguel Sano's poor start, unsustainable success from youngsters and reclamation projects in the starting rotation and, of course, injuries. My greatest concern is the back end of the bullpen. 

With the expanded rosters, the bullpens have been both used more and used differently in April. The roster will be reduced by two today and pitching staff will be limited to 14 after today's game. So far, the disappointments have been confined to veterans. Tyler Duffey failed in a save opportunity and took a loss when he entered a game in the middle innings with a lead and gave it up. Caleb Thielbar has strung together several poor outings, featuring his lack of command--both walks and falling behind in counts--and although his numbers are okay, Emilio Pagan has given up a lead and had two ulcer-inducing saves as the de-facto closer. The title of this blog entry points out that all three of these guys are over 30. I do want to point out that two other 30+ bullpen guys have been very good--Danny Coulombe and particularly Joe Smith.

I think that the track records of Pagan, Thielbar, and Duffey will allow their manager and pitching coach to give them some rope. Duffey and Thielbar started slowly in 2021, but performed better as the season went along. Pitching for San Diego, Pagan went the other way, as did practically the entire team. Duffey and Thielbar haven't closed games regularly. Pagan saved 20 games for the 2019 Rays and seems to be the preferred option for the manager right now. It doesn't make sense to me to trust any of these guys unconditionally at this point. Jhoan Duran would seem to be an obvious answer and perhaps Jorge Alcala could provide another reliable high-velocity arm in the second half of the season. To me, the Twins need to add someone to the mix that isn't on the roster right now. 

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The problem still is SHORT STARTS. The rotation arms have to get to six innings. Winder did it (Yes). Now can we get that from the vets?

 

The Twins also DON'T HAVE A REAL CLOSER. Would you trust Duran yet? I would sure give him the chance.

 

Otherwise, it is musical chairs. Duffey, Thielbar, Pagan, Coulombe. Are we happy that Stashak is back? Is JAX the real thing (hey, maybe he is the closer). 

 

But now we have 7 starters, if you count Sands. When Ober comes back.....

 

Minaya got roughed up. Cano and Smeltzer are pitchiung real well. Moran is coming back well. Do you trust guys like Petricka, Mason, Megill, Bashlor, Sanchez, Pinto more than we really have?

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3 minutes ago, Rosterman said:

The problem still is SHORT STARTS. The rotation arms have to get to six innings. Winder did it (Yes). Now can we get that from the vets?

 

The Twins also DON'T HAVE A REAL CLOSER. Would you trust Duran yet? I would sure give him the chance.

 

Otherwise, it is musical chairs. Duffey, Thielbar, Pagan, Coulombe. Are we happy that Stashak is back? Is JAX the real thing (hey, maybe he is the closer). 

 

But now we have 7 starters, if you count Sands. When Ober comes back.....

 

Minaya got roughed up. Cano and Smeltzer are pitchiung real well. Moran is coming back well. Do you trust guys like Petricka, Mason, Megill, Bashlor, Sanchez, Pinto more than we really have?

TBH, no I don't trust any of them more than what the Twins have. I think the Twins should think about trading a prospect for a proven relief arm, ideally a lefty. This would be particularly true if Alcala comes back healthy and effective and Duran continues to wow everyone while staying healthy.

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Remember the last pitcher that threw over 100 in 2019 as a reliever , the FO traded for a starting pitcher the next off season  ....

Sure hope they aren't show casings him and follow a pattern this off season and trade him cause he has been  fun to watch in the bullpen  and should be given the opportunity  to close  ...

 

Rookie or not , closer role is his to lose and I don't think we would be sitting on the edge our seats as he closes   ,

unlike with the other options  we have .....

Alot of clubs like hard throwers and have given many rookies a closer role and found success  ....

We need to take a chance if we are competitors FO .... 

I don't need to name any of the players written above , you should all know who I am talking about  , 

Now only if the FO and manager would read twins daily 

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A valid concern.

I am looking forward to see how Winder and Sands do going forward. If Winder succeeds I would consider moving Archer to the pen where his two-pitch mix likely plays better anyway. 

Like Archer, Sands also seems to rely mainly on two pitches. If he looks good in relief, why not just keep him there?

Certainly not something you should bank on, but positive outcomes here would go a long way to help the Twins' bullpen, I think.

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Smith has been fantastic but I wouldn't pitch him 2 days in a row, Coulumbe has been pretty good and I'd like to give Duran a chance at closing. The rest I don't really put a lot of trust in. Yet Baldelli relys so much on these guys! He really needs to rely more on long relief but now that Winder is pitching in the rotation we really don't have anyone to go long. That's why they should have brought up Smeltzer.

On paper Archer does look like a good candidate to be a good BP pitcher but actually Archer has 5 pitches, FB, slider, CU, curve and cutter (which PIT forced him to use but has since dropped). His FB looks pretty good, his slider has been his best pitch and seems like he's still working on to get it back, maybe after he gets done with his slider he'll start working on his CU and curve.

Along with that Archer has a starter mentality. For so many years  he has had it and the few times that he had been used in that compacity of reliever he hasn't fared as well. With some patience Archer will be much needed when post season comes around as a starter.

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They  used Duran in the closer role in 2 to 1 victory  over Baltimore  ...

Outstanding  1 , 2 , 3 inning , no edge of your seat performance ,   he was poised  and looked like he was relishing in that role ....

He's got the right stuff for closer ...

I guess someone in front office might read twins daily 

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17 hours ago, Doctor Gast said:

On paper Archer does look like a good candidate to be a good BP pitcher but actually Archer has 5 pitches, FB, slider, CU, curve and cutter (which PIT forced him to use but has since dropped). His FB looks pretty good, his slider has been his best pitch and seems like he's still working on to get it back, maybe after he gets done with his slider he'll start working on his CU and curve.

Along with that Archer has a starter mentality. For so many years  he has had it and the few times that he had been used in that compacity of reliever he hasn't fared as well. With some patience Archer will be much needed when post season comes around as a starter.

Isn't Archer's contract innings and incentive-laden too? He might be upset if the Twins appear to be financially motivated and move him to the pen. That said, I'd be surprised if Archer starts any postseason games since you really only use 3 starters. I assume that will be Ryan, Gray, and whoever is pitching better/healthy between Paddack and Bundy. I don't think Archer is going to throw more than 100 innings this year. 

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49 minutes ago, Blyleven2011 said:

They  used Duran in the closer role in 2 to 1 victory  over Baltimore  ...

Outstanding  1 , 2 , 3 inning , no edge of your seat performance ,   he was poised  and looked like he was relishing in that role ....

He's got the right stuff for closer ...

I guess someone in front office might read twins daily 

No question that Duran has great stuff. Can he go back-to-back? Will his arm hold out? Do the Twins want to put him in the bullpen permanently? Will they consider using him for two-inning saves? 

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1 hour ago, stringer bell said:

No question that Duran has great stuff. Can he go back-to-back? Will his arm hold out? Do the Twins want to put him in the bullpen permanently? Will they consider using him for two-inning saves? 

All good questions  ,  

I don't think they would use him back to back days because of the lack of innings pitched since 2019 ....

2 inning saves would be alright if they don't use him back to back .....

If he holds out with no injury as the closer  , and produces quality results  , the front office would be smart to stick with him as closer ....

Bullpens are what wins most games ( yes there are some stud starters )  and Duran solidifies almost a qauranteed victory in the ninth inning  ....

I know I'm getting ahead of myself a bit but that was a very impressive save last night  ,,, best in many years as a twin 

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12 hours ago, dex8425 said:

Isn't Archer's contract innings and incentive-laden too? He might be upset if the Twins appear to be financially motivated and move him to the pen. That said, I'd be surprised if Archer starts any postseason games since you really only use 3 starters. I assume that will be Ryan, Gray, and whoever is pitching better/healthy between Paddack and Bundy. I don't think Archer is going to throw more than 100 innings this year. 

Good point Dex, legally I think the Twins can't force in the BP and I don't think he would want to . Archer is used to pitching in big games. Once he's ramped up he should be awsome but coming off surgery, there's some doubt wether he'll comes back as a work horse where he was before.

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